Chief of Police for the last 20 years, Mike Jones is one of the most positive and kindest people you will ever meet, and was recently honored with Police Chief of the Year for 2019.
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
My father was a police officer in Rome, Georgia, so I watched him go to work every day and became interested in law enforcement. Originally I wanted to work for the FBI, but during high school I went to work for the Rome Police Department as a radio dispatcher, working from 3 o’clock in the afternoon after school until 11 p.m. every day. As soon as I turned 21, I was hired as a police officer. I worked in Rome for 25 years and have been in Suwanee for 20 years.
How long have you worked or lived in Suwanee?
20 years working here. I live in Braselton but have wanted to stay close to Suwanee in case of any emergency here, I could get here quickly.
What has kept you here?
My environment, the community, the people I work with. The average Police Chief stays one for 3-4 years, and I have been the Chief in Suwanee for 20 years. Peachtree Industrial Boulevard was a two-lane road when I moved here, and the population of Suwanee was about 5,000 people. I did not realize that this was going to be the fastest growing city in Gwinnett! Our police department receives tremendous support from our city, city council, and the community. We are a nationally ranked department.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Suwanee?
Mayor Chris Yoder. He has a huge heart and loves people. I would not be where I am without him.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Up to the East Coast to Maine on my Harley Davidson and eat at a fish camp. I would also travel out west to California.
What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
Mandingo. My brother and I would go to the theater at ages 8 and 5, and this movie was not rated and totally not appropriate for children!
What advice would you give a crowd of people?
Three things I really believe in: Priorities are God, family and then job, in that order.
What is something on your bucket list?
Traveling in my RV with my wife to the Southern states and spend six months on the road.
If you could take anyone to lunch (dead or alive) who would that be and where would you go?
Ronald Reagan and to Ippolitos.
What is your favorite music? Name three bands you would like to see.
Country music. Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and Hank Williams, Jr.
What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Suwanee?
Dillard’s BBQ when they were open.
What is your favorite thing about Suwanee?
The people. Suwanee is very family oriented and most come home from work, take care of their children, and basically police themselves. We are very diverse. I have gotten to know Mr. Kim of the Tae Kwon Do business who helps me communicate with the Asian community here.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Sitting on the beach, smoking a cigar.
What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I have a Harley Davidson and love RV camping. I rode a bike years ago as an officer but not lately. I would like to add that we are very blessed here in Suwanee and how important it is to look at things positively. We have had families come by with food and come to pray with us in times of trouble (when officers were shot down), showing us how much they cared for us. When I hire an officer, I want those who police from their heart.